City centre improvements resume in Victoria Square
A multi-million regeneration of Birmingham’s city centre continues with Victoria Square, Colmore Row and Waterloo Street being repaved over the coming months.
The overall project has secured £5million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund and £20.478m from corporate funding, which was approved as part of the Council 2020/21+ Capital Programme in February 2020
Works on improving the public realm areas around Victoria Square and New Street were underway before Birmingham hosted the Commonwealth Games commenced last summer.
It has been nearly 30 years since significant improvements have been made to the city centre's public spaces - Victoria Square was pedestrianised in 1993.
Improving pedestrian areas and widening pavements will also help the city’s economic recovery - particularly retail and hospitality sectors hard hit by the pandemic.
Ongoing works to The River (the Floozie in the Jacuzzi’s real name) will also be carried out as part of this next phase of works.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Our city centre welcomes more than 42 million people a year and following the regeneration of Centenary Square and Paradise, it’s time for the business and retail areas to be revitalised.
“Improving public spaces in the city centre will enable us offer a world-class welcome to our visitors and will also support the economic recovery for businesses impacted by the Covid pandemic by creating more space to enjoy outdoor hospitality.”
The continued works will be carried out in two parts: the first includes the improvements to Victoria Square, The River fountain and installation of permanent security measures at multiple locations. The latter forms part of a comprehensive safety and security strategy for the city centre – replacing temporary measures which have been in situ for several years
The second part of these works, which are set to be completed by mid-2024 will see improvements to the areas surrounding the square - Colmore Row to Newhall Street and Waterloo Street to Bennetts Hill - providing a pedestrianised, safe and accessible environment.